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[personal profile] pbrim
There is this feral cat hanging around our yard. I am no stranger to cats, I have two, my friends I rent the other side of the duplex to have 5, and the neighbor to the other side has 1. All 8 get along reasonably and wander in and out of each other's houses (we all have cat doors) and eat each other's food.

But now there is Yellow Cat moving in. He's been hanging around for several months and he is NOT tame. He has already beaten up on my dominate cat -- I just spent $1000 on treating an abscess. We've been talking about trying to gentle him down some and find a no-kill shelter to take him because we can't let him keep beating up our cats. Then today, he got into my house and was threatening my cats. I was trying to shoo him out the door, stupidly got too close, and he bit me. Not bad, but the skin is broken and bleeding in 4 or 5 places.

I know what I should do. I should call animal control. But if they can't locate an owner in 72 hours, they'll put him down and I know this is my fault. I knew he was scared and feeling cornered and I misjudged and got too close. I could lie to animal control about what he looks like, or just not report, but then I would have to get the rabies shots and that is not good. And we have to do something eventually -- he's too aggressive to let hang around our other cats. I don't know if we would ever be able to get him to a state where a no-kill shelter would accept him. I really don't know what to do.

Date: 2015-02-06 03:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] houseboatonstyx.livejournal.com
First move: Get a vet to scan him for a microchip. (A mobile vet might do this, or a local animal group might have a scanner. Without telling anything more than that he's a stranger and you want to send him home. If your own wounds are too visible, get someone else to do it.

If no chip, go through usual steps "Have you seen this Yellow Cat? - phone 555-5555". Flyers with photographs to veterinary clinics etc, maybe someone will recognize him.

And/or, take him to a vet and request a physical checkup, vaccinations, etc, and a reasonable quarantine. No need to tell that he's bitten anyone etc.

If he checks out non-rabid, and no neighborhood connections turn up.... Well, I've lived in ranch country and the cats in most excellent health are the ferals at isolated hay barns.

If you do end up considering the shots, verify just what is involved. Modern methods may not be as bad as the legends.

{{{ adds to Friends List, hugs }}}
Edited Date: 2015-02-06 03:56 am (UTC)

Date: 2015-02-06 03:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sophiaserpentia.livejournal.com
I second the suggestion about quarantine. The typical protocol is 10 days, and it's acceptable if there's no reason to believe the animal is rabid:

The vet may bill you for the quarantine, though, and it won't be cheap. But if the cat is otherwise healthy and not too antisocial, they may be willing to TNR him after the quarantine period.

Edit to add: I know you don't wish the cat any harm, but in my opinion you have to take care of yourself and you can't mess around with rabies. It's not likely - rabies is really rare - but one reason it's rare is because we have an established protocol.
Edited Date: 2015-02-06 04:00 am (UTC)

Date: 2015-02-06 08:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] houseboatonstyx.livejournal.com
If he's at all anti-social, he'd be safer somewhere not in contact with children or pets. Even if you/OP get him vaccinated and chipped, he could still get in trouble for biting someone else.

Date: 2015-02-06 09:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] houseboatonstyx.livejournal.com
Pat, here's a story I just ran across that made me think you might need to learn more about your local veternarians' 'policies' before taking the cat to them.

So all along this vet's office has said they would sterilize and vaccinate this cat for $150 and keep it until they found a home for it. Since it's so shy and scared I asked them today if we could pay and have them do the medical stuff, and then we would foster the cat for a week or so to help it be more adoptable and then bring it back for them to find a home for it. They said that wasn't the way they normally did things so they would have to ask the owner when he came in a noon.
He finally called me back and said this was a courtesy they offered their customers and if it was too feral to be adopted then they had to euthanize it, which no one ever mentioned before.

Date: 2015-02-06 11:03 am (UTC)
gingicat: drawing of me based on wedding photo (Default)
From: [personal profile] gingicat
Honestly, dangerous animals are still dangerous.

Date: 2015-02-07 10:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] johnpalmer.livejournal.com
Well, rabies is lowish probability but exceedingly high risk. You need to do *something*. If the animal were to get run over by a car, or wander away, you'd have no choice but to get the shots.

I agree with those who reference getting a vet involved, either for quarantine, chip-scanning, or something.

The "good" news about rabies is that it's slow to progress and even if an animal *is* infected, it's only in the final stages of the disease where it's able to be transmitted by the bite. And you have time for inoculation, even if the cat was infected.

But you should do something.

I would feel awful about having animal control kill the kitty - but a feral animal that wanders into people's houses is a danger - I'm not saying you *should* go to animal control, but you shouldn't disregard the question of what to do if you can't find a better answer relatively quickly.
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